Saturday, 27 June 2009

Skulls in the Wilderness

Here is a slightly more macabre photograph which has no identifying marks. I have a theory it was taken on a battlefield some years after a war. So why? Well, I think the discarded tins contained soldiers rations.

Identifying the location is problematic. I suspect it might be Gallipoli. What confuses me is the cacti. Does this Turkish peninsular have the terrain to support the growth of cactus? If not, then I am baffled. Would any of you care to offer an explanation, please?


  1. I have no clue as to where that could be....?? It's a curious thing seeing photographs of the dead.. personally, I feel quite removed from them, though I still feel a subtle emotion towards them, strangely , I find photo's of gravesides or personal belongings far more emotive. If the above pictures would have just been of the ration tins, or the engineer's shoes or gloves, I would have felt far more moved. Perhaps it's the irony that when confronted blatantly with death we (or I) go into denial....

  2. I have two theories: 1) they are--as you speculate--soldiers with food rations in their backpacks who had to parachute out of a plane. They are in the desert and can't see a way out. They eat their rations slowly but die of starvation. There are no signs of parachutes, but cloth would disintegrate quickly in the heat. b) they are American prospectors in the southwestern U.S. who either also starve to death or are killed for their gold.

  3. I'm with Margaret thinking maybe American southwest. In fact, you may have stumbled on the evidence of an incident relate in the famous song "Me and My Uncle", written by John Phillips (no relation) of the Mamas & Papas fame, in which the last verse says :

    "Now I love those cowboys,
    I love their gold.
    Love my uncle,
    God rest his soul.
    Taught me good, Lord,
    taught me all I know.
    Taught me so well
    that I grabbed that gold
    And I left his dead ass
    there by the side of the road"

    If not that, maybe an Indian massacre, either Indians killed by whites, or whites by Indians ?

    If Gallipoli, are you familiar with the song "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" by Eric Bogle ? Good video here with old photos set to the music :

    Quite a fascinating photo wherever it's from...